Industrial action over the next fortnight will have a serious impact on the NHS here in the east of England, with services expected to face the most challenging period yet, warned a senior NHS executive in the east of England today.
To ensure care continues to be available for those in life-threatening situations, NHS staff will prioritise emergency and urgent care, with thousands of routine appointments and procedures for patients being postponed in the east of the England each day.
Adam Cayley, Chief Operating Officer for the NHS in the east of England said:
“From tomorrow, the NHS is bracing itself for 11 days of industrial action. We are expecting more disruption in comparison to previous strikes, given the longer period and cumulative action by our medical professionals.
“However, any patient who needs urgent medical care should still visit their A&E department as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases, where they will be treated safely.
“The NHS will continue to deliver as much planned care as possible during this period, especially for patients in greatest clinical need. If you haven’t already been told that you appointment has been rescheduled, please attend as normal.
“For non-emergency healthcare, we are asking the public to use the NHS 111 online (www.111.nhs.uk) or by dialling their 111 phone service.”
The NHS is facing the longest-ever strike action by junior doctors, five consecutive days, starting from Thursday. This is to be followed by the first walk-out by consultants in more than a decade, starting on 20 July, as well as radiographers striking between 25 – 27 July.
Patients with appointments who haven’t been contacted otherwise should attend as normal and community services such as GPs and pharmacies are also largely unaffected by the strike.
If you are collecting someone being discharged from hospital, please try to get them home as soon as possible, to help us free up hospital beds for others.
In June industrial action by junior doctors saw nearly 15,000 hospital appointments in the east of England disrupted over three days. But with this week’s junior doctors’ action taking place over five days, followed closely by consultant strikes, it is likely that more appointments will be disrupted.
The public can stay up to date by checking local NHS Trusts’ websites and social media channels for any local disruption, as well as following NHS East of England on Twitter.